ng-nz logo
Story image

Church group crowdsources 'I forgive you' emoji design

23 Sep 2019

Someone did something silly, and now you need a way to say they’re forgiven. How do you do that in emojis?

There’s no dedicated emoji for ‘I forgive you’ – and that’s a problem for some churchgoers in Finland, who are running a crowdsourcing campaign to design and add an emoji to the official Unicode collection.

The Forgivemoji campaign encourages people to design an emoji that represents forgiveness. The team behind the campaign will then decide on the best entry and then submit it to the Unicode Consortium.

The Unicode Consortium is the organisation behind the emoji list. That list gets updated once a year, and this year 59 new emojis will be added to the range – with 230 variations.

You wouldn’t think that adding a new emoji to the official list shouldn’t take too long – but according to the Forgivemoji team, the process can take up to two years, complete with explanations about the emoji’s intended uses and frequency of use.

Those behind the Forgivemoji campaign are the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. While the campaign may have connections to religion, the message is clear.

“In our modern digital communication culture, emojis are an essential way of expressing human feelings beyond words. We were surprised to realise that the official emoji selection has dozens of different cats and even two designs of zombies, but there isn't an emoji for forgiveness,” explains the church’s communications director Tuomo Pesonen.

“Through crowdsourcing ideas for the design of an emoji for forgiveness, this campaign also strives to promote a message of peace and mutual understanding the world over.”

The church partnered with a few other charities and peace-building organisations in Finland.

"Reconciliation is the key in sustaining peace. Without it, conflicts continue in cycles and get worse. We urgently need to learn better how to reconcile,” says Deaconess Foundation special assistant Antti Pentikäinen.

“These skills are needed everywhere. Different ways to encourage apologising and forgiveness are an essential part of it, and this includes the social media environment.”

“Our vision comes from President Ahtisaari - all conflicts can be solved. What people have started, people can end. Emojis are a modern way to use dialogue and forgiveness is an integral part of that dialogue," adds CMI director of communications and fundraising, Elina Lehtinen.

On the campaign's website, visitors can vote from a selection of emoji designs or submit their own artwork and sketches.

Story image
Apple's new watchOS 7 features handwashing detection, new watch faces
“watchOS 7 brings sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types together with a whole new way to discover and use watch faces, helping our users stay healthy, active, and connected.”More
Story image
Kiwi game developers move forward with indigenous gaming platform Katuku Island
“We created Katuku Island to bring cultural literacy to a technological platform that uses Maori Toi graphics, sounds, characters, tribal tattoo and indigenous challenges. As an indigenous researcher and business owner, I wanted to make a difference.”More
Story image
Hands-on review: Western Digital WD_Black P50 Game Drive
Western Digital gives gamers a glimpse of the future today with their WD_Black P50 NVMe solid-state drive.More
Story image
Hands-on review: 13-inch MacBook Pro - the butterfly keyboard is finally dead
With the typing experience improved and the insides bumped up and the Apple ecosystem now better than ever, the MacBook Pro is now an even more reliable tool.More
Story image
Hands-on review: JBL Tune 220TWS
Another great part of the design is the earbuds themselves. Most other earbuds on the market can’t be worn for more than two hours at a time because of the amount of pressure they put on ear canals. Thankfully, the JBL Tune 220 were designed with all-day wear in mind. More
Story image
Dropbox adds new features for people working from home
“We’re working quickly to provide new features to help people stay better organised in all aspects of their lives so they can focus on what really matters - like health and family.”More